Which is less helpful: Empty praise or baseless criticism?

Having seen more than my share of both in my time, I’ve recently started pondering the effects of those kinds of uninformed opinions and the effects they have on a person.

Empty praise is the result of good intentions, but as we all know good intentions by themselves rarely ever lead to anything that’s actually . . . Good. Being told that you have a talent that you don’t actually possess can cause you to waste your time pursuing something that you no interest or marketable talent in which could lead to a feeling of a life led running in the wrong direction. However, sometimes some arguably undeserved praise early on in the pursuit of your goal can give you the drive to keep going. Sometimes the key to success is simply being too stupid to know when to give up as the old saying goes.

Baseless criticism is extremely, extremely common. Just post your works onto any online forum made for people to judge works of your medium and you’ll learn the hard way within hours. If that doesn’t effect your self-esteem at least a little bit then you’re a stronger person than I. This sort of thing drives many people away from doing what they love. With that said though if absolutely nobody thinks you have a particular talent that you believe that you have . . . There’s a chance that they may be right.

Personally I pay more attention to my critics than those who praise me. Sure, part of it may be personal insecurities, but sometimes it’s just easier to sift through endless criticisms for something that’s well-written and informative than to ponder who’s praising me because they feel that they should for whatever reason,  y’know? Not that I don’t enjoy genuine praise of course!

DSC_0166

Some of the bees are actually bears! Ahhhhh!

Ever have that thought that just rewrites your childhood?

My mother, sister and myself moved around quite a bit throughout my early years. I spent my preteens in a small farming community and before that I lived in a trailer park for a few years. My teens were spent entirely in one of those tiny fishing villages that Nova Scotia is frequently associated with.

Growing up I never felt at home. Somehow I was a city kid trapped in the countryside despite never having actually lived in a city. The slow paced rural life always bored me, and living in a fishing village with an ever-increasing higher percentage of homes being owned by those who only intended on living there in the summer didn’t exactly help to create any illusions of excitement. Once I turned 18 I set about fixing this as quickly as I could which resulted in me living in a nearby town for a couple of months before moving to The Halifax Regional Municipality.

A year and a half or so at the age of 24 I was living with a couple of friends of mine in Halifax. It was the first time I had lived in a full-sized apartment building with a double-digit number of floors, balconies, shitty superintendents, etc. One day I got off the elevator on the eight floor and was walking down the hallway back to our place when a thought hit me and I stopped dead in my tracks to ponder it aloud.

“Wow. This single building has a larger population than my entire hometown.”

It took me a couple of days to get over that one.

***

Funnily enough a friend of mine who is from the same village sent me several pictures last night. I’ll start with this mspaint bee straight from my nightmares. Thanks Danny!

*Cough*

Just like the wheat,
I sure am beat.
That’s right, I’m freestylin’,
Time to move your feet!

I’m gonna rock it all the way live,
While I’m getting ready to jive.
The mic is in one hand,
The other is slapping you a five.

Don’t look at me like I’m a mutt,
It’s totally my turn to strut.
My rhymes are going to hit you
Square in the gut.

But you have nothing to fear,
Come lend me your ear.
Here are some words,
That I hold quite dear.

Are you listening now hun?
Good, let’s have some fun.
Stay as I dispense wisdom,
I don’t wanna see you run.

Good, I’m about to start.
My words will fly true like a dart.
I got a better selection of lyrics,
Than your local Wal-Mart.

This is for my biggest fan,
From every woman to every man.
It’s time to start this show,
It’s time to show that I can!

*Drops mic and walks off stage left*

***

Another picture from the local Lolita group featuring bees drawn left-handed. Thanks everyone (This time don’t just hotlink the image ha ha.)! ❤

How did I get a whiff of body odor off of that SUV that drove by?‏

The rest of the morning that was all I could think about. How did I confuse the smell of vehicle exhaust with that of human sweat?

After a couple hours of sitting at my desk I finally noticed something was off. Where was this faint smell of wet grass coming from? Moving my head around slowly whilst sniffing led me to notice that it was coming from my monitor? That’s just weird.

Do my hands smell funny? That is always on my mind even at the best of times. I looked around to make sure nobody would notice because I’m sure sniffing my monitor didn’t already make me look weird, and I held my hands over my mouth and nose as I took a huge huff of the . . . What was that smell? I hadn’t smelled anything like that since I used to live down the road from a pig farm.

I ran to the bathroom to wash my hands, wondering all the while why the hallways smelled like the open highway. I slammed my body through the door and ran the water on it’s hottest temperature. As I noticed the water smelled like burnt rubber I realized that for some reason my brain was registering random smells that didn’t match what I was actually smelling. Soaping my hands up with soap that smelled like a shaggy carpet that was just vacuumed caused me to break.

I shut off the lights and retreated to a bathroom stall while crying. This dark space is my home now, and constant olfactory torture is the only thing I know. The last thing I smelled before I passed out from my frenzied stupor is the smell of an asteroid breaking through the ozone layer.

I wake up in a grassy field. And only the panda suit remains.

***

This excellent piece was made by all around awesome super-mom Laura! She also has a great blog that she needs to update more about her weight-loss journey. Go encourage her to do that here!

With all of these HD remakes of games recently, you know what we need? A HD remix of Snakes and Ladders!

The first thing that should be changed? That art. It’s so . . . Simplistic and childlike. Hire a renowned game artist like Yasuyuki Honne (Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade Chronicles, Baten Kaitos) or someone along those lines to draw us some truly art-defining snakes and a breathtaking atmosphere on the board. Also, new 3D figurines of heroic figures should be included. Monopoly had game pieces back in the 30s, why doesn’t this game have them yet!?

One thing Snakes and Ladders has always lacked was excellent music. Or any music at all really. Let’s get some Nobuo Uematsu up in this shit! Putting your figurine on the staring point starts up some music, and then you trigger increasingly more tense music as you move up the board, etc.

A rebalancing of the game’s ruleset would be pretty nice as well. Like maybe if you go so many spaces without hitting a snake you get a one-use perk. Something along the lines of getting to use a 20-sided die for a single turn or some sort of snake protection for two turns. Maybe you could choose perks and some other things before the game starts and add a little strategy into the mix, y’know?

***

The following was drawn by a Lolita Fashion group in Halifax. Bees riding things!

The following is a list of things I have honestly done while extremely tired.

– Spent an entire day contemplating how awesome the words “Tuna fish” are.

– Strongly considered peeing in the litter box belonging to a friend’s cat.

– Apologized to a fire hydrant after bumping into it.

– Wrote a story about being felt up by a large, orange tree in my bathroom.

– Slept through most of my Travel and Tourism course, but not in the way that would’ve made me a legend.

– Said the word “Horses” like 17 million times one day.

– Tried to start writing a book roughly 20 or so times now. I have yet to make it past 500 words.

– I honestly don’t remember the ending to so many video games since I’ve beaten them in a state of partial awareness.

– I slept through the last 15 minutes of ‘No Country for Old Men’! I have yet to see what happens. Please don’t spoil it for me. I really must get around to seeing it again at some point.

– I honestly tried to pick up someone once by going on a ramble that included my desire to throw small children off a bus. Although in my defense it was a noisy bar and I could have swore she said something along those lines, and not what she actually said which was more along the lines of doing a trust exercise with children that involves throwing them into pits of foam while volunteering to help out troubled children because she loves them so much.

***

– This bee was contributed by Ana from Halifax. I think at this point it’s safe to say you’ll all notice when I run out of contributed bees and go back to drawing my own ha ha. Thanks Ana!

I’m being assaulted by jelly beans.

I’m strapped to a chair. I have lost the will to fight anymore. Deprived of food, water, sleep and any form of entertainment or interaction with any living creature, I was no longer able to fend them off. I barely came to, and now I have no idea what will happen next.

That’s when the torture began. The jelly beans slowly marched into the room through a tiny rat hole, one by one. They ambled over to me and began to chew at my ankles, savoring my many flavors. Or single flavor. I never chewed on my ankles before, so I’m not sure. I was too weak to stop them.

That’s when I realized something. JELLY BEANS ARE FOOD! I AM SO STUPID!

I feigned strength, hoping that I could hold on long enough for my plan to work. I pretended that they were not hurting me. They began to travel all over my body, searcing for my weak point. When one crawled into my mouth and had a nibble, I screamed my best painful scream. Anxious to finish me off, they all crawled into my mouth. However, before they ate my tounge, I DECIDED TO EAT THEM INSTEAD! YUMMY AND FREEDOM ARE AWESOME!

I waited for my surge of power that would see me break through my bonds and rip everything in half. Then I realized that jelly beans are bad for me. Then I realized that the only thing that was holding me to the chair was a seat belt. So I undid it and walked out the front door. If only I realized my intellectual advantage over the jelly beans sooner, this never would’ve happened.

***

The following picture was drawn by my good friend Real. I debated putting this up since it’s not really poorly drawn ha ha.

Swiping like a fox.

So most of you have likely used a modern smart phone or tablet at some point and controlled something by swiping the screen. Although it can be a hindrance at times every once in a while you use an app or a game that utilizes the function well. Which got me wondering as to how excellent such a thing would be if it worked in the real world.

At first the only application of such an ability would be for fun. It’d be a blast to be able to do things that include running your finger across a tree to fling it aside and the like. One would also have to be extremely careful about using it or petting a cat could go in a very bad direction quite quickly.  With that said it could have some beneficial uses as well.

Walls would no longer be a problem as long as you pay attention to what you’re doing. Putting two fingers together, swiping both fingers outward and walking into a room would make for a quick entrance into anything. Just make sure to close your newly created door behind you. Household chores would be less tedious as well when you don’t have to actually exert any real effort.

Being able to shrink things by putting a finger on opposite corners and swiping inwards would be fantastic! You could order a huge poutine and shrink it down into a bite-sized heart attack as opposed to a full-sized one. On the flip side you could make food larger and solve world hunger with the reverse motion.

I wonder if there’s a super hero in print with such an ability yet . . .

***

Bradley of http://bwhartwork.com generously sent me a couple of pictures that his two children drew. For the record these are probably two of the better drawings I’ve put up on this site so far ha ha.

Thanks again Bradley, you and your children rock!