As kids, having fun seems natural. As adults, it can be hard to come by. Worse, some forms of fun actual harm of us. So how can we have good clean fun as an adult?
Alan McKee has written a book on the subject. In an article in the Times, the writer says that He…
…defines fun thus: “Fun is pleasure without purpose.” In other words, the same qualities that seem to make it so hard for me (the writer) to have pure fun — I need purpose! — make it hard to optimize for; put it under a brain scanner, and it has a tendency to disappear.
Fun is pleasure without purpose. Adults, especially responsible adults, often look to assign purpose to events. That may make them educational or beneficial, but it often robs them of their fun. If that is you, perhaps you need to set aside time for an activity that is purposeless. Play a kazoo. Make playing card towers. Doodle. Solve a puzzle and then throw it away. Go for a slow walk. Dance badly. Sing out of tune. Whatever you enjoy, do it without any aim in mind, other than to enjoy it. Guess what? You may be having fun.
For more on this, read: Here’s How to Have Fun. Also, What Is Fun? in The New York Times. (That’s where the blockquote comes from.)
Posted in fun
Tagged advice, fun, howto
It’s Labour Day. Take a well earned break from your work. Perhaps you plan to relax and take it easy. That’s a good choice. If you are itching to be more active, though, why not do something creative?
If you are looking to make something, the Washington Post has a section on beginner diy projects.
Perhaps you always wanted to learn to paint? If so, Domestika has this creative watercolor sketching for beginner course.
If you have already started painting and you want to improve your skills, these
YouTube videos by Ian Roberts on Mastering Compostion are good. Likewise, if you can go to the artistsnetwork.com and get guides like this: how to thin acrylic paint and more.
Another source of education is My Modern Met Tutorials.
If you fantasize about going to art school but can’t imagine how you could pay for it, read this: Don’t Want to Pay for Art School? Here’s a Streamlined Syllabus for Getting your MFA.
If you want to do something musical instead, check out patatap, a fun way to make noises and visuals with your keyboard.
Finally, if writing is your thing, you can start a blog here at WordPress. If you want more people to read you though, consider writing for a larger audience and see if they will still take first person articles at The Globe and Mail.
There’s lots of ways to be creative. Have fun!
How to: If you want to make cartoons & comics but you have no idea where to start!, read that. If you want to draw a head, read How to draw a head: A complete guide. If you want some good books on art, there is this, 16 Best Books for Learning to Paint of 2022 and this Top 10 Best Books on Painting. Click these links if you want to draw fabric or draw glass. If you want to go to OCAD and study art, click on this or this.
Artists: if you want to read about artists, here some pieces on Jeff Koons, Marcel Duchamp, Keith Haring, James Castle‚ Richard Serra and Jeff Koons again.
Thinking: if you like to think about art, then you might want to read, is my art good enough, What Does It Really Mean to Make Art?, When art transports us where do we actually go? and 24 Hours in the Creative Life.
Music: if you prefer music over the visual arts, here’s some good stuff: Guitarist Randy Bachman Demystifies the Magical Opening Chord of The Beatles‚ Hard Day’s Night. Speaking of the Beatles, here’s a piece on Skiffle. And if that inspires you: How to Play Guitar Without Learning How to Play Guitar.
Writing: if your thing is writing, here’s a piece on Essay writing. This was fun: a defense of the em-dash. This may discourage you: No one will read your book. This may encourage you: Dagny Carlsson Centenarian Blogger Dies at 109.
P.S. The good rules you see above are from that link to Swiss Miss.
It’s too bad we don’t get taught more practical skills in grade school. So many of these skills are only taught if you aren’t pursuing college or university. That’s a shame, because how to cook, clean, and repair things are skills everyone should know or be able to learn.
One such skill is how to make a stitch. Here’ a link to 5 Basic Stitches You Need to Know, Plus Other Textile Tips.
Go now and fix that piece of fabric that you love and want to see last a long time. You can do it.
Then consider this: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Into Podcasts – The New York Times.
It doesn’t appeal to me, but podcasts are hot now, and if you want to give it a go, a good guide such as this one can help.
I love oysters, but I was intimidated by how to successfully shuck them. Turns out it isn’t easy, but with a good guide, like this one, it is a skill you can master with a bit of practice: Guide to Shucking Oysters With Ease. You need a good shucking knife and some oysters. I also used an oven mitt to protect the hand holding the oyster while shucking them, in case the knife slipped.
Once you have your newly shucking oysters, here’s some good ways to enjoy them, all courtesy of The Spruce website:
(Image via SeriousEats.com)
Food52 has a number of good guides to making dishes and sauces without a strict recipe, including this one: How to Make Any Pesto in 5 Steps.
Once you do it once or twice, you will more or less be making it without a recipe.
I’d encourage you to skip basil and pine nuts and go with other greens and nuts, especially greens you may have in your fridge that are about to give up the ghost. I found that the combination of the oil and the greens give the pesto it’s sauce quality, while the nuts and cheese and garlic give it the flavour. So if you don’t like garlic (really?), drop it. Likewise if you have nut allergies. For additional flavour, add some wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to taste at the end. And of course, add salt to taste.
Why you should make pesto is easy: once you have it, you can add it to food in all kinds of ways to make your food tastier. It is a very versatile sauce.
Once you have pesto, you can add it to roast meats or vegetables. I opened up a boneless pork roast, spread it on the inside, and closed it up. You could do the same with a boneless chicken breast. (Or add some to just cooked fish.) I tossed my roasted vegetables in a bowl with some pesto until they were lightly and evenly coated.
Another idea is to make a pasta sauce with 2 parts pesto to 1 part cream and warm them in a pot while you cook some pasta until it is al dente. Then drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce until the pasta is covered.
If you have some tomatoes, quarter them and lightly toss them with some pesto for an easy salad.
Or take 1 part mayo and 1 part pesto, combine, and use as a sandwich spread.
Lots of ways to use pesto. Enjoy!
(Image via a link to the Food52 post.)
If you love WALL-E and you have an ability to build robotic devices, this might be the project for you: Mail-E, a mail-checker robot from Let’s Make Robots!
If you don’t want to make it, it is still interesting to see how it’s done. And if you love the idea of making robots, then you have to check out Let’s Make Robots!
Posted in new!
Tagged howto, robots