Here’s a full and fun list of blogger terms A to Z from the Blog Stylist
Here’s a full and fun list of blogger terms A to Z from the Blog Stylist
When I can’t sleep from my 12-hour jet lag, I go driving around Vietnam on my motorbike. The city is quiet, and the lights sparkle all over the from the rain. The pollution has been moderate at around 70 PM2.5 AQI and the weather is cool at 80 degrees. We can smell the Vietnamese jasmine blooming on the jade trees, blowing through the wind.
New Construction in Nhà Bè (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Cross Light Next to Quốc Cường Gia Lai in District 7 (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Bridge from Nhà Bè to District 7 (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Bridge from District 7 to Nhà Bè (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Street View in Phú Mỹ Hưng (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
May was hot with blue skies. We hardly got any rain. I counted the days. There were only 5 of them. When June came around, it started raining. It rains everyday now. Nairobi flies come in at night. If they are brushed off from our skin, then they leave an acid burn. In America, it’s dark at night. In Vietnam, the city comes alive with fluorescent colored lights buzzing around.
Villa Being Built in Phú Mỹ Hưng (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Lavida Residence by Quốc Cường Gia Lai Construction in District 7 (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Graffiti in Phú Mỹ Hưng (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Lucky Hotel in Phú Mỹ Hưng (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
Motorbikes at Hoàng Anh Gia Lai in Nhà Bè (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, June 17, 2018.
There’s a really interesting book I’ve been reading called “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger from 1972. It was recommended to me by one of my art teachers for my graduate degree. I found it at a bookstore in Singapore. Berger writes about how color photography and advertising mixed together to make “publicity ads” in the 20th century. It is showing a product, like a beer in a glamorous scene.
Our desire for the product also makes us desire the lifestyle which we see the product in. For example, if we buy the beer, then we will somehow be catapulted to the luxury lifestyle of permanent vacation and island hopping. When we buy the beer, we find out that it isn’t true.
This is what we all do now on our own social media. We design photos to show off our most perfect meal, our best family photos, and luxurious vacations, when the truth about how we really feel is lost behind the images.
Hong Kong hosts Art Central each March, showcasing international artists in a convention space on the river bank. Outside the heavy gray rainfall and inside the enormous white tent, we see the well-organized black umbrella holders to the left and an over-sized white sculptured head to the right. It looks like cute manga style of Japanese Harajuku.
On through the tent, we pass white booths scattered with colorful paintings, spiraling around tiny white breakfast tables to chat with gallerists at. Artists are nowhere. Except one. Artist ichi from Japan, dressed in white, is lanky. He sits at his booth table slouching down, like his body is too long for his self-expression.
He lived on the streets in Japan and used found objects from the garbage to create his work. One of his pieces is made out of a thrown out wooden crate with a latched door. It has a sign on it, “Do Not Touch.” He is happy to place his hand on it to take a picture. The outside of the crate is painted a true hue of blue, but it is not opaque. It reveals long brush strokes and enigmatic mark making. Inside of the crate are post-consumer packaging torn up, shaped and rearranged into non-objective forms.
He scribbled “Artist ichi” in a continuously refined graphite line amongst the forms. His oeuvre is his nightmare. We watch him dreaming. We walk passed him. He violently sleeps on a cold sidewalk. He is covered in our garbage to keep himself warm.
“Artisti ichi” (Photo/Paul) Hong Kong, 2016.
I just got out of Digital Communications class towards my M.F.A. We did a WordPress blog, so I did mine on DIY Art projects for ASD. The reason why I chose ASD– even though it is not my field of study or career path, because I have had a lot of close friends on the spectrum.
Growing up, my BFF was Thad. He had epilepsy, which caused him to have speech delay. He was also not able to go to regular school, because of the additional support he needed. He and I went to a christian beach school together in the 6th grade. I went on to public school, but he stayed in the private school environment.
Thad died when he was in his early 20s. Like epilepsy, ASD can cause language delay. It’s when someone on the spectrum doesn’t quite get what you are saying. It takes them longer than normal to process it and get it back out.
(Photo/Paul) Florida, May, 2018.
My new BFF was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Social Anxiety when she was a teenager. That’s when we first met. She got pulled out of public school in the 8th grade to be home schooled. OCD and Social Anxiety are two traits commonly found on the existing spectrum.
Through journal article research, I discovered that the reason why ASD students have problems going to regular school and trying to fit in with Typical Development students is that the activities given to them aren’t suitable for mixed classrooms. Existing ASD studies treat it like a disease which needs medication. Now that I more keen on the traits of the spectrum, I am judging my BFF for her unusual characteristics. Maybe I was smarter before I knew anything.
ASD students need to be integrated into regular classrooms as public school funding for special education gets pulled. Integration will also show them the value of social interaction to grow up to be functional. All of the research for ASD is done by psychologists who just report about what they see, but they never treat ASD like a biological experiment by trying out activities for ASD students to help them break out of their social anxiety. There are also no ASD influencers on social media.
I remember how cool it was when Anthony Bourdain had beer and noodles with Barrack Obama in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Vietnamese Food Bep Viet Ca Phe Sua Da and Banh Snack (Photo/Paul) HCMC, Vietnam, 2017.
Bourdain’s show used to come on local TV in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, but whenever he visited Vietnam the entire station got cut off. Vietnam has become a little bit more relaxed with TV, lately.
However, local bloggers and protesters cannot speak out against Vietnam as there is no freedom of the press.
Whenever I feel like the world around me is chaotic, I go to Thich Nhat Hahn’s meditations. He was a Vietnamese monk excommunicated during the War. He met with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. Hahn lives and writes from his monastery in France.
There are a lot of people protesting today, because the Vietnamese government has opened up 3 provinces to foreign real estate investors and the property ownership will be good for 99 years.
(Photo/GiaoducQP) Vietnam, June 10, 2018.
My favorite mediation from Hahn’s book “The Blooming of the Lotus” talks about the impermanence of life. How things are planted, cared for, grown, cut down, and eventually get back into the earth.